|Publication number||US7310894 B1|
|Application number||US 11/128,132|
|Publication date||Dec 25, 2007|
|Filing date||May 12, 2005|
|Priority date||May 12, 2005|
|Publication number||11128132, 128132, US 7310894 B1, US 7310894B1, US-B1-7310894, US7310894 B1, US7310894B1|
|Inventors||John L. Schwarzman, Shirley Elliott|
|Original Assignee||Schwarzman John L, Shirley Elliott|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (18), Referenced by (22), Classifications (12), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates generally to methods and apparatuses for protecting oneself from slipping, and more particularly to a method and apparatus for protecting oneself from slipping in a shower, bath, pool or the like.
Elderly people can suffer severe and debilitating injuries from falls, particularly in an environment, such as the home where many elderly live without constant supervision. Many injuries occur in the bathroom where standing water and tile combine to create a very slippery surface. Moreover, showers and baths provide other significant potential sites of falls for the same reasons.
While the above problems are exacerbated by age, these problems are not unique to the elderly, even though they may occur with more frequency among the elderly. Young children and adults of all ages can face similar injuries due to falls while in the bathroom, shower, bath, pool or the like.
There exist shoes to prevent slipping. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,076,283 discloses shoes and shoe outsoles for wet surfaces. However, this shoe cannot be worn in the shower or bath. U.S. Pat. No. 5,456,643 also discloses non-slip footwear, but cannot be worn in the bath or shower.
Sandals exist for use in wet areas, such as U.S. Pat. No. 4,419,836, which discloses footwear in the form of a sandal. But sandals can be easily dislodged from one's foot.
Surfing footwear exists, such as U.S. Pat. No. 4,322,894. But this footwear is not practical for walking and moving around in a shower, for example.
The present invention is therefore directed to the problem of developing a method and apparatus for reducing the risk of falling in a shower, bath, pool or the like.
The present invention solves these and other problems by providing a shower shoe or slipper than can be easily worn by an individual when taking a shower or bath or simply walking through a slippery area.
According to one aspect of the present invention, the shower shoe includes a mesh top through which water can pass, a rubber sole with water drainage slits through which water can pass, and grooves on the bottom of the rubber sole that prevent hydroplaning when standing (or walking) in water.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the shower shoe includes a Velcro® closure that enables simple, secure fastening of the shoe.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the shower shoe includes a loop on the back of the shoe that enables one to easily grip the shoe when putting the shoe on or taking the shoe off. The same loop can be used to hang the shower shoe while drying.
Other aspects of the invention will be apparent to those of skill in the art upon review of the detailed description in light of the following drawings.
It is worthy to note that any reference herein to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the invention. The appearances of the phrase “in one embodiment” in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.
The present invention inter alia enables one to take a shower in safety with diminished fear of slipping and falling. The footwear of the present invention is designed to be worn in the shower or bathtub or other similar area. The shower shoe of the present invention is designed to provide more secure footing on wet, slick surfaces, and to help prevent the wearer from slipping while bathing.
The shower shoe is designed to be easy to slip on and remove from the foot. The shower shoe is fastened at the front with an easy-to-grasp Velcro® closure. On the back of the shower shoe or slipper is a large loop to make the slipper easy to pull over the heel and to also make it easy to hang the slippers up to dry. The sole of the shower shoe or slipper is made of soft rubber. In the sole of the shower shoe are holes (and/or slits) that will allow water to drain through the shower shoe. The top of the shower shoe is made of nylon mesh material, for example.
Additionally, the shower shoe or slipper of the present invention provides additional “surface area” for traction on the on a slippery surface. The entire sole of the shoe comes in contact with the slippery surface, not just the narrow bottoms of the feet, which, heretofore was the only option available.
An exemplary embodiment 10 of the shower shoe or slipper of the present invention is shown in
The mesh top 12 is made of a nylon or similar material that repels water and is light and easily fashioned into a mesh design. The mesh top 12 enables the water to pass through the top of the shoe to the inside of the shoe. Any suitable material that can repel water should suffice. Moreover, the design of the top is not limited to mesh, but can be any design that enables the water to pass through unimpeded.
The hole 13 is designed to be one-size fits all (or at least most sizes). The hole 13 can be modified for children sizes or extra large sizes. In one possible embodiment of the hole, an elastic band is sewn into the fabric to create a snug fit against the ankle or leg of the wearer.
The fastening loop 14 enables a strap 17 with a Velcro® fastener 15 to pass through and double back on itself to mate with the opposite Velcro® fabric on the fastener 15. The strap 17 includes a wide tab at the end to enable easier gripping and to prevent unlooping of the strap 17.
Loop 16 is employed to enable the wearer to easily slip the shower shoe on his or her foot. Loop 16 can also be used to hang the shower shoe when wet to dry it or when storing the shower shoe.
Although various embodiments are specifically illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated that modifications and variations of the invention are covered by the above teachings and are within the purview of the appended claims without departing from the spirit and intended scope of the invention. For example, certain materials are disclosed for use in the top and sole, but other similar materials will suffice. Furthermore, these examples should not be interpreted to limit the modifications and variations of the invention covered by the claims but are merely illustrative of possible variations.
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|U.S. Classification||36/8.1, 36/59.00R, 36/3.00B, 36/3.00A, 36/3.00R|
|International Classification||A43B7/06, A43C15/02, A43B5/08|
|Cooperative Classification||A43B5/08, A43B13/223|
|European Classification||A43B13/22B, A43B5/08|
|Jun 27, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Aug 7, 2015||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Nov 9, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Nov 9, 2015||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
Year of fee payment: 7